Becoming a high-performing, neurodiverse software team
Developing software applications and IT systems is a challenging undertaking. Development teams find themselves in a complex environment called a “socio-technical system”, where the quality of interactions among people and between people and technology is crucial for success.
Teams often face difficulties managing their jobs to be done, retaining trust with management or stakeholders, or keeping team morale and psychological safety high.
This leads to frustration from management, colleagues and clients, resulting in a waste of money, time, motivation and talent.
Adding that an estimated one in five people is neurodivergent (including those with ADHD, autism (ASD), dyslexia, Tourette’s, or other conditions, and people that are highly sensitive, introverted, or intellectually gifted), communication differences arise and it becomes even more critical for companies to focus on psychological safety, managing work and cognitive load, and enabling self-organisation.
What and for whom?
“Becoming a high-performing, neurodiverse software team” is a tabletop game in which players are confronted with realistic scenarios from the everyday reality of a cloud software development team. In their toolbox: a comprehensive set of practices, tools and quick wins based on five simple principles that make the lives of development teams easier. Can they meet the challenges, taking into account their diverse and sometimes opposing personalities, needs and wishes?
In this serious game you learn as a software developer, engineering manager, product owner/manager, ScrumMaster, or agile coach how five principles help neurodiverse software teams with managing their work, building trust, improving equity and inclusion, and maintaining morale in order to ultimately flourish as a high-performing team.
Facilitated during a two-hour session, online or in-person, in English or Dutch. The board game itself is in English. Adaptations (i.e. scenarios tailored to your environment) are possible.
What you’ll learn
Awareness on neurodiversity in the workplace
Learning what neurodiversity means, what stereotypes we unconsciously hold about autism, ADHD, dyslexia, etc., and what are the challenges and strengths related to neurodiversity. Why does neurodiversity and neuro-inclusion matter for the team and the organisation?
Five principles for development teams
Introducing five core guiding principles that upskill development teams to perform on a higher yet sustainable level. This drastically improves retention rates and the well-being of the team, while allowing them to deliver high-quality working solutions sooner.
Putting people and well-being first – Making many small and valuable steps – Limiting cognitive load – Celebrating, reflecting and experimenting – Mentoring and coaching
How to play the game + debriefing
During ± 45 mins and with assistance from the facilitators, the game is played in smaller groups of about five people. Afterwards, the groups reflect on their learnings and hold a plenary discussion.
is a software engineering expert turned neurodiversity consultant and trainer. He learnt the power of psychological safety and limiting cognitive load while leading software development teams, gradually discovering the value for his own ADHD and autistic brain. Today, he helps leaders and HR professionals to let their teams thrive with neurodiversity.
Daphné De Troch
learnt how to create a safe work environment for and lead a team of neurodivergent people, after she was diagnosed with ADHD and autism. She started Bjièn with Dietrich to help other leaders and teams with the awareness of neurodiversity and make their workplace neuroinclusive.
What others say
Very cool and insightful game. Thank you!
Great initiative that deserves 100 % more attention in the workplace.
This hits a nerve!
Are you interested in a session for your neurodiverse company, team or group?